I’m a motivated mom!

One of the benefits of writing a weblog is that I control what window you have of my life. For example, you can’t see my  messy house.

Nor am I brave enough to be like those who take photos and post them. Sorry. Just imagine someone who files horizontally and whose children’s schools are engaging in all-out paper warfare.

(I’m not kidding, either. Each child brings home five sheets of paper a day, minimum, and yet the schools won’t send home one lunch menu a month because “we’re going green.”  Trust me, the world’s forests aren’t even going to notice.)

When I attended a lecture on Asperger’s (about which you’ll hear more this week) one of the things we learned was that those with Asperger’s have a difficult time breaking down a big job into manageable bites. It’s a deficit in executive functioning. I’m not diagnosed with Asperger’s myself, but my first thought was, “That’s why I can’t clean my house.”

Because my house is a big project. It keeps getting messy. And I’m too stymied about where to begin.

So I checked out “Motivated Moms,” and I discovered the best thing since Google: for $2, I downloaded a list of cleaning tasks to take me through the rest of the year. (A full year’s planner is $8.)

For two dollars, I now have someone to tell me, “Dude, the mirrors? They’re gross.” And, “It’s Monday. Clean the toilets.” And there are everyday tasks like cleaning the bathroom sinks that make the house just look nicer in general.

I’m actually doing it! I mean, it’s not clean the way my Aunt Rosemary would have cleaned the house. In fact,  when my house is at its cleanest, that’s when she’d think, “Wow, I have to start cleaning!” But for me, this is good.

The Motivated Moms list also includes check items for quiet time every day (which I presume we’re supposed to use for prayer, meditation, reading, or a long walk) and time to do hobbies.

What I need next is a daily list of things to do with my soul to get it all cleaned up. You know, like on Monday we should think about the events surrounding Jesus’s birth, and on Tuesday we could think about his death, and… Oh, wait. We have that already in the rosary.

But we could also have a list of readings that will take us through most of the stories of the Bible in about three years… Oh. Wait. We have that too.

Well, at the very least, shouldn’t we have role models of people who we can look to and say, “Today I can focus on these kinds of characteristics…” Oh, hey, what do you know?

See, that’s what makes me happy I’m Catholic. I like checklists. I like to know how to break down a big task into little pieces. (Don’t ask me how I write novels. I don’t really break that process down into little pieces. I just write a novel.)

Now I just hope I can keep my house cleaner than my soul, and then we’ll be okay if anyone drops by.


  1. Xallanthia

    Wow. Right now we’re staying with family so I don’t need a house-wide checklist like that, but as soon as I’m on my own again? I am so getting one. I tried FlyLady but found it intimidating. This looks just right.

    Also, as you pointed out, the Church seems to know that we need tasks broken down into manageable bits!

    1. philangelus

      FlyLady intimidates me too. But this list,at its bare bones, is very very manageable.

      And yeah, good to know the church is aware of human nature, because sometimes I feel I need to be spoon fed even the simplest stuff.

      1. cricketB

        FL has lost her focus, at least for the mailing list. Too many advertisements for the products and other websites. Useful, high-quality, but too many. Also, not enough guidance for new users. The daily missions are still good, but they’re buried in the flight plans and sneak peaks. I’ve kept her attitude (housework done incorrectly, baby steps, 15 minutes, rotating zones, weekly blessing vs deep cleaning, prepare the night before) but created my own schedules.

  2. Ivy

    Be careful of odd spillovers. After I got the house clean, Sharron decided to get out insides clean. She’s dragged me into a general cleanse, a colon cleanse, and I think next week she wants to start a liver cleanse.

    It never hit me how much bigger the Catholic bible is. We go through the entire Torah annually. Three years and the parshas would be way too small.

    1. philangelus

      trust me when I say over-cleansing is not a problem around here.

      I get the impression from the snippets you’ve mentioned that the parshas are MUCH bigger than the Catholic lectionary readings. Most of them are one story long, maybe 300 words. Every day there’s one reading from the Old Testament, one from the New, and one psalm.

      Do you do only the Torah, or the prophets and the wisdom books as well?

      1. Ivy

        Between Torah, Haftorah, and holidays, the whole thing. Psalms are mostly read in prayers, different ones on different occasions. Some are in special holiday readings, such as for Purim. Torah is read in order; Haftorah is not.

        You’re right, they are much longer than 300 words. Now if we tried to put Talmud into it, it would be about 30,000 words a day. A midrash says the early Jews were warned about writing too much, and they utterly failed to heed that warning.

        1. philangelus

          30K a day? Now I’m beginning to get why Jesus said to say yes when you mean yes, and no when you mean no. 🙂

          (Says she whose handwritten journals fill most of a filing cabinet drawer.)

  3. cricketB

    Instead of writing a comment, I’m going to put a checkmark on “blogs” for today, then spend 15 minutes on the next part of my list — the car.

    1. philangelus

      Therefore I didn’t read this comment…? 🙂

      1. cricketB

        Just looked at Motivated Moms. In the two weeks shown, I like how they do more than one room each day, and the rotations don’t have same thing on same day — so you don’t miss the Monday tasks every week. On my list when I need to change my system. (Borderline ADHD need to change their system every now and…I should have a salad with this salmon.)

        Next step: At weekly family meeting (difference between theory and practice…) everyone takes turns choosing which tasks to do. Son has been told that come January, age 11.5, he has to do 1/2 an adult load of house and yardwork.

        1. cricketB

          Well, I paid my $2. It’s a good list.

          Now I can compare their list to mine. Some overlap — that’s easy enough. Some things on their list I know I won’t do. Again, easy enough. Stuff that’s on my old list that I don’t see on theirs? Look through all of theirs, then decide where to add each thing. Also, decide what to do about things I miss — some are just wait till they roll around again, but some should be re-scheduled. Must go through and see how often the missed ones occur before deciding.

          When I’m done that, I might still have time to clean out my purse/wallet before the kids get home.

  4. Kate

    I like the sound of that. I tried Flylady, but WAAAY too many emails. It was overwhelming. I looked at MM last year but at the time I didn’t have a printer and I knew I would need a hard copy. Now that I have a printer and a little more income, I should take another look!

    1. philangelus

      There’s a sample sheet which I printed off first (bad me) to see whether it was doable. When I could stick with that for the week, I bought the schedule.

  5. Promise

    For me, it’s not so much a matter of knowing what needs done, or breaking it down (in our family, the making of lists is practically a genetic trait), but actually doing it. I’ve taken procrastination and turned it into a fine, fine art. Unfortunately, I’m procrastinating my life away….And with that I’m going to MAKE myself turn off this computer and get up and DO SOMETHING.

    1. philangelus

      I’m not really a procrastinator. I meant to get around to being one, but I just never got up the motivation. 😉